The National Federation of the Blind (NFB) has claimed in a letter to the railway minister that protests by a group of people with locomotor disabilities demanding jobs was illegal as it encroached upon the rights of other disabilities.

Handicapped candidates from across the country have been protesting at Mandi House after no action was taken by Chief Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities (CCPD) court against Railway Ministry’s failure to explain the discrepancies in 2018 RRB Group D examination.

Around 7000 qualified candidates, some of whom had prepared for eight years, complain that their result, which was declared in March this year, was later declared invalid after a few days as the number of seats and multiple disability categories were added to the reservation category without any proper communication. At the time of applying for the job there were only 7 categories of disability but after the announcement of results 14 more categories of disability had been added which affected the previously declared results.

SK Rungta, the general-secretary of the National Federation of the Blind (NFB), in a statement claimed the demand of the group, mainly suffering from locomotor disabilities was “illegal.”

A section of locomotor disabled persons have been staging a protest at Mandi House to “exert undue pressure” on the Railways Ministry to accede to their “illegal demand” of giving them appointment in excess of one per cent vacancies reserved for them, by curtailing similar reservation admissible and given to other disabilities, including visually impaired persons in respective zonal railways, said Rungta.

“Such a demand is not only illegal but encroaches upon the rights of other disabilities, including visually impaired,” he claimed. However, the protesting candidates say, as per the initial job advertisement, the number of seats in Ahmedabad zone for one leg (OL) disability category was 95, where most of the candidates had applied, which was later reduced to 61 and seats were increased in other zones. Candidates complain if this was the case then why did not the RRB communicate the changes to candidates.

The protesters have come with a list of ten demands which they want to be fulfilled, which includes merger of vacant seats reserved for disabled candidates under Visually Handicapped (VH), Hearing Handicapped(HH), Locomotor Disabled (LD), and Mentally Disabled (MD).